Business Insider wanted to know how much adults use their phones, and what they found was not surprising. It was, however, a bit disconcerting.
There are more than five billion phone users in the world, with 30% owning smartphones. In the United States the average time spent per day on the phone is nearly three hours (2 hours and 42 minutes to be exact) – and that’s not talking, that’s playing. That’s checking Facebook and Twitter, even when sitting in front of a computer. We’re reading articles, playing games, paying bills – doing pretty much everything on our phones. Eighty six percent (86%) of our phone time is spent on apps.
Two plus hours may not sound like much until you realize that it comes out to 41 days per year. Yes, the amount of time on our phones equates to 41 whole days. That is more than one month’s worth of life we spend staring at a screen. Last December, smartphones in America were used for a total of 442 billion minutes.
On average, 18-24 year olds check their phone every 10 minutes, which makes sense when there is so much information inundating your inbox. In 2013, 50 billion Whatsapp messages were sent and 60 million Instagram photos were shared daily.
Business Insider also listed the percentages of time spent on specific activities. For instance, 32% of our time is spent playing games, 17% spent on Facebook and 4% spent on “productivity”. I assume phone calls fell into the “other” category, which came in at 3%.
Again, none of this is surprising. But we are quickly moving away from a life that is independent of technology to one that can’t function without it, resulting in declines in social skills and common courtesy. Smartphones have enhanced our lives – no doubt – but for some the dependency is unhealthy. We don’t need to divorce our phones, but it might be a good idea for a separation.